Veterans Defense Project

Promoting the effective and vigorous defense of Military Veterans in criminal court.

Veterans Defense Project
1

To conduct and support education, research, and informational activities to increase public awareness of issues effecting military veterans in the criminal justice system;

2

To promote the effective legal representation of military veterans charged with criminal offenses

3

To promote the rehabilitation of criminally-involved veterans by utilizing Veteran’s Treatment Courts and National Best Practice Standards.

Defending veterans can be among the most rewarding experiences a defense attorney can have.

We can help repay our nation’s debt to these heroes for their service and sacrifice.

The VDP will continue to ensure our veterans receive as vigorous a defense in the courtroom as they provide our nation on the battlefield.

The Minnesota Initiative

The Minnesota Initiative

In The News

Noteworthy news stories that promote public awareness about recent or important events that relate to the Veterans Defense Project and the rehabilitation of criminally-involved veterans.

Serving Those Who Served: Veterans Get Mentorship Training In NE Philly

Serving Those Who Served: Veterans Get Mentorship Training In NE Philly

Veterans who have struggled since returning from the battlefield don’t have to look far for a helping hand. Their fellow former soldiers are being trained as mentors during a two-day “boot camp” in Northeast Philadelphia. These volunteers know what it’s like — they’ve been there.


Veterans court gives vets charged with crimes second chance

Veterans court gives vets charged with crimes second chance

When Ryan Harbaugh of Old Forge returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2011, the substance abuse problem that plagued him most of his adult life escalated. Unable to cope with the stress of returning to civilian life, the 31-year-old Army veteran said he drowned his problems with alcohol. He’s not alone.  …


CTN Spotlight: Veterans Court Celebrates 5 Years in Anoka County

CTN Spotlight: Veterans Court Celebrates 5 Years in Anoka County

Veterans Court was introduced to Anoka County in November of 2012, and since then, over 30 graduates have successfully completed the program.


Treatment court gives veterans stability, sobriety and a second chance

Treatment court gives veterans stability, sobriety and a second chance

David Belcher returned from the Iraq war broken. The platoon sergeant suffered a traumatic brain injury when four guys beat him up with a tire iron and suffered from post-traumatic stress after an officer in his command who was a good friend was killed. He started having seizures and started taking prescription drugs. Depressed and…


Veterans praise Ramsey County veterans court as life-changing

Veterans praise Ramsey County veterans court as life-changing

Eleven years ago, Charles King returned home from an Army deployment in Iraq angry and wary of the world and people around him. The distance between the combat mechanic and the rest of the world widened until he landed in Ramsey County District Court in 2013 for a domestic incident. The timing was fortuitous —…


St. Cloud Times Recognizes Brock Hunter for his Work with Veterans in the Criminal Justice System

St. Cloud Times Recognizes Brock Hunter for his Work with Veterans in the Criminal Justice System

Horrific battlefield injuries — physical and mental. Frustrating struggles for medical care of those injuries months and years after military discharge. Families, relationships, and civilian lives changed forever. And stunning numbers of veterans contemplating suicide, to say nothing of the 686 veterans of all ages in Minnesota who did end their own lives between 2007…


The Attorney’s guide to defending veterans in criminal court

The defending Veterans Book

Introduction

For as long as warriors have returned from battle, some have brought their war home with them, bearing invisible wounds that haunt in the present.  These echoes of war—manifested in self-destructive, reckless, and violent behavior—reverberate through society, destroying not only the lives of these heroes, but their families and communities.